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Official Guide to the Loxahatchee River and Jupiter Outdoors  

 Loxahatchee River .net -- Your Coastal Connection!

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Jupiter Inlet History
Including the Loxahatchee River

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Jupiter Lighthouse Grounds - 1910

The Jupiter Inlet, Loxahatchee River, and surrounding areas are very rich in history. When you look at the natural beauty, proximity to the ocean, and sub-tropical climate, it's no wonder why people have settled on the shores of the Jupiter/Tequesta area for generations.  The timeline below is a brief summary of the Loxahatchee River area's colorful past, there are a wide variety of books and web sites that go into much greater detail and description.  Many of these books will be available for purchase on our website; see the side-bar for details.

As early as 3000 B.C. (late Archaic Period) there is evidence of early Native Americans that inhabited coastal areas of the Jupiter Inlet.  They lived around the existing lighthouse grounds and the giant shell mounds that were discovered on the current site of the DuBois home (S. side of inlet). These early Native Americans lived off the land, sea and river.  Over the centuries, various Indian cultures emerged; some eventually moved inland, along the shores of the Loxahatchee River.

The journey begins...
1513 - European explorer Juan Ponce de Leon explored the Jupiter Inlet area as he sailed his ship Northward along our coast.

1565 - There were no more (known) European visitors until 1565 when Pedro Menendez de Avilas left a small garrison in the inlet.

1659/1660 - A Spanish Galleon, the San Miguel Archangel wrecked just off the beach near the Jupiter Inlet, carrying treasures and other artifacts, some of which have been salvaged over the past several years.  This wreck was originally discovered by a Jupiter Inlet beach life guard during his early morning swim.

1696 - An Englishman, Jonathan Dickinson, lost his ship "Reformation" as it wrecked along Jupiter Island, just North of the inlet.  For a short time, his family and crew were held captive by the local Jobe (Hobe) Indians which his crew referred to as cannibals.

1700's - 1800's - Several Indian tribes inhabited the area, such as the Jobe, Creek, Seminole, and Jeaga. In the mid-1800's there were even bands of escaped slaves that made it down to Florida in search of freedom.  They were taken in by the Indians and both sides learned many skills from each other such as farming, fishing, language, and more.

1800's - The Seminole Indians named the river "Lowchow" for turtle, and "Hatchee" for river.

1821 - The U.S. obtained Florida from Spain.

1838 - Battle of the Loxahatchee (at present day Riverbend Park). This war was between the Seminole Indians and the U.S government who was trying to relocate the Indians out West, and take their land.  Fort Jupiter was established on shores of the Loxahatchee River.

1850's - The Loxahatchee River was known by locals as the "Jupiter River".

1853 - Congress approves the funding and construction of the Jupiter Lighthouse.

1845 - Florida become the 27th State.

1855 - Construction begins on the Jupiter Lighthouse grounds.

1860 - The Jupiter Inlet lighthouse was built in approximately six months.  The lighthouse was lit for the
very first time on July 10, 1860. Captain James Armour was the first lighthouse keeper. He lived in quarters next to the lighthouse with his family.

1861 - The Jupiter Lighthouse went dark after Confederates seized a crucial part and hid it in a Jupiter Creek.

1865 - Hurricane.

1866 - The Jupiter Lighthouse was repaired and re-lit.

1870 - The Barefoot Mailman begins mail delivery route along our local beaches, and South to present day Miami.

1871 - Hurricane.

1872 - South of the Jupiter Inlet; the steamer "Victor" was wrecked in a storm.  It was estimated to have been carrying $150,000 of cargo.  Many of these early shipwrecks were salvaged by Indians using canoes, as many items would wash up as debris along the beaches.

1880 - The U.S. Army abandons Fort Jupiter.

1880's - The first settlers arrived in Jupiter by paddle-wheel steam boats that traveled down the rivers from the North. Some boats were
so large they constantly got stuck on our local sandbars.  Soon many smaller paddle-wheelers and sailing vessels arrived which would bring down passengers and supplies.  Around this time a new "train dock" was built along the river to off-load supplies to railcar.

1885 - The first freight railroad arrived in our area.  It ran back and forth seven miles between Jupiter and Lake Worth.

1886 - Captain Charles Carlin was appointed as the first captain of the new U.S. Life Saving Station in Jupiter.

1890 - The "Celestial Railroad" -- named for it's stops in the seaside towns Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Juno, provided passenger service
between Jupiter and Lake Worth (which was a freshwater lake at the time) before the intracoastal waterway connected to it.

1890 - The "Octogon Schoolhouse" was built by the water, just North of the current location of Burt Reynolds park and boat ramps. Being one of the eariest schools in Jupiter, it provided instruction for children of all ages.

1892 - The Tindall house was built by George Tindall, along the river (Palm Point).  This cracker-style home is considered to be the oldest pioneer home in Palm Beach County and has since been donated to the Loxahatchee River Historical Museum.

1892 - The Jupiter-Nassau Western Union telegraph cable was finally completed.

1894 - Supplies were off-loaded to boat at Flagler's wharf (located on Sawfish Bay).  These supplies were used for the construction of Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway and the Royal Poinciana Hotel on Palm Beach.  The first railroad trestle bridge was constructed across the river.

1895 - The current Intracoastal Waterway was dredged and widened by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers around this time.

1896 - A new school house was built on Sawfish Bay.  Many children rode the local "school boat" daily, from various stops along the river.

1896 - A canal was excavated which connected Jupiter Sound and the headwaters of Lake Worth Creek with Lake Worth.

1898 - The Dubois home was built on the Indian shell mounds located on the Southern shores of the Jupiter Inlet (present day Dubois Park).

1898 - The battleship U.S.S. Oregon visits Jupiter.

1900's - The Florida East Coast railroad trestle bridge was constructed along with filling of surrounding
submerged lands.

1903 - Hurricane.

1907 - Windmill and boat house built on Jupiter Lighthouse property.

1911 - The first one-way "traffic" bridge was built across the Loxahatchee River (Dixie Highway).

1913 to 1922 - The Jupiter Inlet slowly moved to its present location; which is approximately 1250 feet North of its original location.  The inlet would naturally open and close periodically due to the effects of huricanes and strong storm surge activity over time.

1921 - The Jupiter Inlet District was formed to oversee maintenance, dredging operations, and jetty construction in the Jupiter Inlet.

1922 - The "natural" shoreline of the Jupiter Inlet was changed forever as the Jupiter Inlet District dredged a channel and installed two man-made jetties.

1925 - The Town of Jupiter was incorporated.

1928 - Hurricane.

1929 - The North and South jetties of the Jupiter Inlet were extended by the Jupiter Inlet District.

1930's - Two dams were constructed approximately fourteen miles up the Northwest fork of the Loxahatchee River by farmers, for irrigation purposes.  These two wooden dams are known as the Lainhart, and Masten Dams.  They have since been enhanced and are now a popular spot to visit via hiking trails, canoes or kayaks.  Access to this beautiful area is available from Riverbend Park.

1935/1942 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged the lower estuary of the river during this time.

1933 - Hurricane.

1934 - Trapper Nelson establishes his camp approximately nine miles up the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River.

1936 - The Jupiter Inlet District dredged a 100 ft. wide, 8 ft deep channel in the inlet.

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